triman (triman) wrote,

Looks like 5i50 series is struggling

Back in November I wrote about the clash of dates between the WTC's 5i50 Galeveston race and the now WTC owned, Austin 70.3. Well, I volunteered again. We didn't get the buses perfect this year, there were some long moving lines between 6:20 and 6:45, but by 6:50 pretty much everyone had gone except for spectators and a few athletes who had late waves and had not read or thought through the implications of the 7:15 T1 closing time.

We had some delays getting spectators back from the lake, which is unfortunate, but since their competitors were gone on the bike for 2.5 hours, just a problem of people standing on dry dusty road waiting for buses for 15-mins or so. Not helped by the fact one of the buses "clipped" a Travis County Sheriffs car and was taken out of action for the duration.

Still, back to the matter in hand. Including Pro's, the Austin 70.3 had some 2573 finishers, which seems to have held steady from last year. At least my observational experience was there were definitely many more spectators this year, and I'd suggest many more Central and South American international competitors and their friends and families.

Down at Galveston the new 5i50 races continued to attract a small age group field, compared to the traditional races like St Anthonys, which is now one of the flagship 5i50 series races and sold out again this year. What I was surprised by was the fact that also on the same day was the 2011 Memorial Hermann TX3 Triathlon at Towne Lake, a planned community outside Houston, which attracted some 2,000+ competitors. So, three massive races, the 5i50 at Galevston, Austin 70.3 amassing almost 5,000 competitors on the same day. If my experience at Austin 70.3 is anything to go by, there were almost as many triathletes working, volunteering or spectating  at Austin 70.3.

Hopefully Philip LaHaye and the 5i50 backers will think carefully about the 2011 Galveston race and move it away from the same w/e as Austin 70.3, which they own, and the Houston Towne Lake race. I know a number of the male pro's would have liked a crack at the 5i50 race if the scheduling had been better, I for one would have too.

Maybe that way the series finale 5i50 race at Clearwater wouldn't have had to be cancelled as well for low pre-race registrations.

WTC Galveston 5150, Number of Finishers: 383
WTC Ironman Austin 70.3 Finishers: 2573
2011 MEMORIAL HERMANN TX3 TRIATHLON Finishers Sprint+Olympic  2,000+

Tags: 5i50, austin 70.3, galveston, triathlon
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